Quotes from Dirk Koetter's Weekly Press Conference

Sept. 19, 2005

Tempe, Ariz. - 'There were lots of positives in the game against Northwestern. It's a lot more fun to look at the tape when you play well. The biggest downer is the loss of Zach Krula. Zach is scheduled to have surgery on that ankle at 2:00 tomorrow. He is looking at a 5 to 6 month recovery period. It is unfortunate for Zach and our team. We'll probably end up with Mike Pollack or Leo Talavou filling in. I think either Mike or Leo will be fine there. 'In the northwestern game I thought we blocked really well. Our Wide receivers blocked down field really welll. Northwestern makes it tough by spreading out a lot. We didn't miss very many tackles. Overall I thought we really hustled. We played physical and hard. We did have too many penalties. We are going to have to do better in that area.

'Scout players of the week are Sean Lauvao. He has a very bright future as an Offensive Lineman. Travis Smith, a freshman corner, was our scout player on defense. Brian Quackenbush on special teams. Game balls went to Sam Keller and Zach Krula on offense. Zach made just an unbelievable block. He knocked down two guys with one tackle. Jordan Hill got the game ball on defense for his consistently excellent play. Keno Walter-White received the game ball on special teams. The extra captain on special teams is Josh Golden for the Oregon State game. He has a big assignment this week in Mike Haas, who is one of the best receivers in the Pac-10.

'I am looking forward to Oregon State. They are a good football team and are well coached. They have the best record in the Pac-10 at home over the last five years, because logistically, you can't stay there. There is not place to stay in Corvallis. The crowd gets loud there. It's the first time we've been there since they've redone the stadium. I heard it is really nice. We have a big week in front of us.'

On the running game:

'It's great to not be one-dimensional. There is plenty of credit to go around. It all starts with our offensive line. In our case our two tight ends mostly. Keegan Herring has been a huge lift to our football team. His style of running is exactly what we needed. Rudy played 23 plays at tailback and had 11 touches, which is suited for his style. Being able to run the ball certainly opens up your play action game.'

On how Rudy Burgess and Keegan Herring compare:

'On paper, they are similar in size. Keegan has been a running back his whole life and is used to taking hits. Rudy has played wide receiver and has stepped into the running back position. They are both very talented athletes. Once seniors graduate, Rudy will have an opportunity to step back into the wide receiver position. But we are focusing on this year.'

On Keller's performance this year after being in the shadow of Andrew Walter:

'The coaches and I knew Sam had the ability to take this team where it needed to go. We knew he could make the passes. We knew he had the drive. It's the little things that surprise us about Sam. He studies the game plan so well. On that fourth and one play against Northwestern, we were in a set up we had not anticipated and Sam's instincts took over and he made a great throw to Matt Miller for a touch down. So no, Sam's performance hasn't surprised me too much. We all knew he had the ability.'

On Mike Pollack and Leo Talavou:

'Mike has had some experience in the offensive line position so we are not too worried about inexperience. It is very unfortunate that we lost Zach (Krula), but we have a lot of depth on our team. Talavou has improved immensely this year, especially since spring ball. The difference between Pollack and Talavou is strength and mobility. Talavou has an extra 70 lbs on Pollack. But Pollack is more mobile.'

On what ASU need to improve on:

'Penalties are a concern, especially after last game. We also need to try to not put the ball on the ground as much. There are always things we need to improve on. We'll try to work out these kinks in practice. I know this team has talent.'

On the importance of studying film:

'As a coach I can sleep much better at night knowing we have studied all we can. I was excited to watch Louisville and Boise State film because I like to watch offensives that are similar to ours. But after watching the games, I realized that they weren't as similar as I thought. It is nice going into games being as prepared as we can be.'

On playing the first road game and the Pac-10 Opener:

'If I had a choice I would play all our games at home. Our guys are excited to start the Pac-10 season. Oregon State has a strong team and great coaching staff. This game is going to be a challenge that we are looking forward to. The Pac-10 is very strong this year. We are looking one game at a time.'

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